This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
I have always been a strange mix of shyness and boldness. Perhaps there’s a split personality in most of us; as for me, I am reticent and even bashful in the presence of strangers. I freak out and must settle my nerves before a public appearance such as a book signing or interview with media — even a phone interview, which would seem to be hardly nervewracking compared to a live appearance on a television show.
But as a first-time published author promoting my book — the novel LOVE TARGET — I force myself to control my timid inner child and take a seat at the author’s table or on the couch next to the TV host, or to pick up the phone and respond as articulately as I can to the interviewer’s voice coming through the speaker. I remind myself that they are doing me the favor: helping me let the world know about my book. What helps is that most of the interviewers seem genuinely interested in my story! This is both flattering and reassuring that LOVE TARGET is a good novel, well worth a reader’s time.
It was the bold side of me that spurred me to write LOVE TARGET in the first place. I always have craved new adventures; it’s why — at age 16 — I told my parents I’d had enough of America, and wanted to return to our native Munich, Germany, and I was intent on doing so whether they liked it or not, and I was heading from our Los Angeles apartment to Las Vegas, wherever Las Vegas was, to be a casino showgirl, whatever a showgirl was, because it paid $200 a week and I would earn enough money to get back to Munich alone.
In subsequent years, my adventures were of the type that would have seemed frightening to my 16-year-old self, had I known what lay in store! Not to give away the plot of LOVE TARGET, but these adventures — or misadventures — involved world-famous entertainers, New York mobsters, drug smugglers, crime-ridden ghettos, and more. Like so many first novels, LOVE TARGET is largely autobiographical; in fact, I term LOVE TARGET a memoir novel. Since my mid-20s, friends and family urged me to write my life story. But I resisted and resisted. When I finally took a stab at it, the result was 70 pages so unsatisfying to my eyes that I burned the sheets in my kitchen sink! But I knew deep inside I couldn’t give up just like that; and so I found an editor to help me shape the novel, get started on it again — and then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, for nearly two years, until the manuscript was finished and polished for publication.
I just needed a bit of a push. In fact, I always have. When I was too struck with stage fright to step out from behind the curtain at the Dunes in the Las Vegas Strip, as a 16-year-old showgirl, I was literally shoved into show businesses (stumbling forward onto the stage) by the showgirl standing behind me. Once the spotlight hit me, I automatically stuck my arms out and smiled brightly as I’d been trained to do in rehearsal, and began my patterned walk — leading the long line of showgirls snaking around the stage, to the audience’s applause.
In the section of my life story that is the basis for the sequel to LOVE TARGET that I am writing, my boldness has prompted me to undertake skydiving and sand railing, fire assault weapons and train with mixed martial artists, and travel to such exotic locales as Teheran, Iran, and Kabul, Afghanistan. (I overcome the jitters thanks to coaches, trainers, and travel agents who supply the necessary “push.”) And yet, I still cringe at the calendar in my smart phone showing a TV, magazine or webzine interview coming up. The butterflies flap fiercely in my belly — just as they did when I was a teenage showgirl. Therein lies a hidden reward of authorship: Not only does it allow you to create something for the world — it forces you out of your comfort cocoon to experience something both frightening and thrilling. It trumps timidy and rewards temerity.
It takes you, the author, on a brave quest just as the book you’ve created takes the reader on a vicarious odyssey.
Intent on earning enough money to return to Germany, she must grow up quickly in the neon jungle - where she is pursued by high rollers and headliners, including a vacationing Elvis.
Life's twists and turns land Ingrid in New York in the Swinging 1960s - where she is romanced by Armand: a strong, quiet, handsome businessman in "construction." Most girls dream of Mr. Right, and Ingrid's hard-won independence is challenged when she falls in love.
Will she find true romance - a man who can love her as much as she loves him? Or is "happily ever after" just a crazy fairytale?
Enjoy an excerpt:
“Rascal, you sit yourself right down there.” Elvis motioned at the bed.
He picked up a shiny guitar. It was honey yellow, and the face had a rust-red design below the sound hole, decorated with golden orbs and stems like dandelions.
“Oh, it is beautiful, Elvis!”
He held it up proudly. “This is my Gibson. Ain’t she sweet?”
He sat on a chair cradling the expensive guitar. He delicately plucked the top string with his thumb and gently strummed the other strings with his fingers.
Soft strains filled the room.
“This little number is from my first movie.”
As he began singing, I recognized the melody.
“Love me tender . . .”
Elvis gazed at me as he serenaded, his eyes big, brilliantly blue, dreamy. His song sang straight into my heart. I tingled like I’d been caught in a breeze. Could he see my skin quivering? He could definitely see my cheeks reddening.
Elvis finished with a slow downward strum, thumbing each string individually, a sweet arpeggio. He let the last note ring and fade away.
He looked up and smiled.
“Don’t I sound like Bing Crosby?”
He didn’t wait for an answer. He leaned the guitar against the dresser and in the next instant was on the bed, an arm slung around my shoulder. His other hand grasped and turned my chin.
Elvis’ mouth was warm and gentle. Our tongues met. Just as quickly, his retreated.
Our mouths puckered again. Elvis’ lips worked softly against mine. They moved away and began pecking my face with slow, small kisses. My lower lip burned. Elvis had sunk his teeth in with a hard nip.
He released it just as quickly and turned away with a bashful look. It was like he was a nervous teenager. Was this all an act? Or was he just a giant flirt?
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4E9UULoZNU
Robin Leach book review in Las Vegas Sun newspaper: http://www.lasvegassun.com/vegasdeluxe/2015/jan/13/love-target-showgirl-reveals-elvis-pregnancy-swing/
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